Napoleon Bonaparte is considered one of the greatest military generals of all time. When he gained power in the 18th century, the French army was in serious disrepair. With a wave of new technology, and the tactics those new technologies allowed, Napoleon was able to take Europe. The story still provides lessons to the generals of today, particularly about the advantages of technological innovation. As guns or weapons in general continue to get updated over the years, there is a new tactic to be used or a new advantage to be gained. (Also see, the bombs and missiles used by the U.S. military.)
The U.S. military embodies this principle as it is perhaps the most technologically-advanced military on the planet. In part this is due to building on the weapons of the past and innovating further. Some of the weapons still used today have been in active service since World War II, and their newest iterations are just as deadly if not more. (Here are nine foreign made firearms used every day by the U.S. military.)
To determine the most recent small arms to enter U.S. military service, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed a range of sources, including military handbooks, government press releases, and firearms publications pertaining to small arms and light weapons currently used by the U.S. military. Small arms are ranked according to what year they entered the service, based on information from Military Factory, an online database of military vehicles, aircraft, arms and more used by militaries across the world. Data on the type of weapon, caliber, and maximum range also came from Military Factory.
The weapons on the list range from sniper rifles, shotguns, rocket launchers, and more. Some of the manufacturers are household names in gun culture, while others might not be as well known, but each plays a critical role in the success of the U.S. military.
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